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IDC and Liferay release report on the importance of customer-centricity in manufacturing

Research finds digital platforms increasingly serve as a linchpin for manufacturers' customer relationships.

Manufacturers are aware that increased investments in technology are necessary to optimize customer experience (CX), as CX now acts as the primary differentiator in the industry. In fact, IDC estimates that in 2022 worldwide IT investments will reach 459 billion US dollars, with an annual growth rate of 5.2%. Programs focusing on an enhanced customer journey are expected to be among the key drivers. According to a recent joint report by IDC Research and global software vendor Liferay, the key to transformation in the manufacturing industry involves placing the customer at the core of the business.

"Customer experience is no longer the exclusive responsibility of marketing and sales departments," said Isabel Tovar, Research Analyst at IDC. "It now includes areas related to supplier relations, product and service management and quality control."

Manufacturers are looking for new ways to engage with their clients and ensure they provide consistent customer experiences across all touchpoints and activities. Technology plays a leading role in this endeavour and needs to support initiatives that go beyond the four walls of the organization. This is especially important as IDC Research forecasts that by 2022, 25% of manufacturers will be engaged in cross-industry collaboration, resulting in a 10% revenue increase.

IDC Research emphasizes the need to create mature ecosystems with close relationships between customers, partners and employees. Moreover, artificial intelligence (AI) is expected to play a vital role in obtaining an in-depth understanding of the client. These elements are considered essential to building a customer-first business.

"Today, manufacturers face a number of challenges while trying to implement customer-centric strategies. One of the most prominent obstacles are silos among organisations that can be particularly cumbersome to overcome," said Edmund Dueck, VP of Sales EMEA at Liferay. "Furthermore, companies often struggle to connect diverse backend systems, which impairs the delivery of seamless omnichannel experiences. Digital platforms can help address these challenges by providing the necessary flexibility and interoperability for a truly customer-centric strategy."

In fact, the report considers digital platforms as the centerpiece of any digital strategy. They provide the architecture that drives and accelerates every digital initiative while obtaining maximum value from internal and external data sources.

IDC Research estimates that 60% of Global 2000 manufacturers already rely on digital platforms to enhance their investments in ecosystems and experiences and support as much as 30% of their overall revenue.

The full report, "The Relevance of Customer Centricity in Manufacturing," can be downloaded here

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